US opposes debate over ME plan
WASHINGTON: The United States will oppose any “circular discussion” between Israelis and Palestinians on the peace plan expected to come out when the Palestinian legislature confirms a new prime minister, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday.
US President George W Bush said last week that the Israelis and Palestinians would be invited to contribute to the peace plan once it comes out. Mr Powell said: “The two parties will have to start talking to one another from that road map and we are sure that they will have comments on it, but the road map is going to be released as it was finished in December.”
‘Double standards’: Britain said on Tuesday the West was hypocritical not to demand the same sort of adherence to UNSC resolutions from Israel as it does from Iraq. “There is a real concern too that the West has been guilty of double standards — on the one hand saying the UNSC resolutions on Iraq must be implemented; on the other hand, sometimes appearing rather quixotic over the implementation of resolutions about Israel and Palestine,” British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said.
4 killed: Two Palestinian militants from Hamas were killed late Tuesday in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in central Bethlehem, relatives of the slain men said. The two men were identified as Nader Jarawish, 35, and Ala Ayad, 24, from the refugee camp of Aida. Both men were wanted by the Israeli security forces, relatives said. Two other Palestinians were killed in the same shooting — the 28-year-old driver of the car the two militants were in, and a 10-year-old girl travelling in a car behind. —AFP/Reuters